The vertical jump is an important athletic skill for basketball players. It's essential not only for dunking the ball, but to become a better rebounder, shot blocker and shooter. Being able to jump higher and faster can give you an edge over your opponents.
You have a number of free vertical jump programs to choose from. HoopsU.com offers a free program for download. This program utilizes plyometrics. Plyometric exercises are designed to link strength with speed to produce power. Another program is VerticalJumping.com which included interactive elements like the ability to create your own specialized workout on the website. Planet Hoops has a free list of drills to help improve your vertical jump. BallersforLife has a free list of exercises which it claims can add 10 inches to your jump in eight weeks.
Free vertical jump programs need to be assessed critically. Many free programs claim that they can improve your vertical jump within days or even minutes. Although some of the programs use plyometrics, no research backs up claims that it can increase vertical jumps. These free programs may offer testimonials from users and even celebrity endorsements, but they don't have any scientific backing. There are many similar costly programs, but they also lack scientific evidence.
All of these programs include warnings about doing too many of these exercises too fast. Over-training can lead to injuries, such as pulled muscles, torn ligaments, muscle strain, or possibly, broken bones. Some programs even recommend that they should be done under the supervision of a coach or trainer. Before starting any program you should check with your doctor to see if it's right for you.
How high you can jump largely comes down to genetics. If you have the "jump gene," you will have a higher vertical leap. HoopsU.com cautions against vertical jump programs that guarantee a specific amount of increase in a specific amount of time. It claims that adding three inches to your vertical jump is possible in two to three months. You can increase flexibility, build strength, and even visualize hanging from the rim of the basketball hoop, but not even Michael Jordan had a 50-inch vertical jump.